Inclusion, Exclusion and what the ‘New Normal’ looks like in schools
Welcome to our weekly blog for Teacher Tapp Ghana!
Every Monday we summarize our most surprising and interesting survey findings from the week before. This weekly blog provides an easy way for you to learn about the experiences and opinions of teachers across Ghana.
Please encourage your colleagues to use the Teacher Tapp app to keep engaged with education even when they’re not teaching. Your responses are also a vital data source that will guide decision-making around best policies and approaches for enhancing the welfare of educators/teachers and ensuring robust educational sector management.
Many more teachers will like to be heard and this can be done through Teacher Tapp. Do share this blog with your colleagues and encourage them to use the download links at the bottom of the page. In the meantime, here are this week’s intriguing findings…
1. How are schools coping with reopening?
With JHS and SHS students back in school, we now have a clearer and richer picture of how schools are managing to operate during an ongoing pandemic.
45% of teachers said that at least 70% of their target students have returned to the classroom. This must be especially relieving as many teachers were concerned about low numbers returning.
But, the concern may linger for some as 1 in 5 teachers told us that less than 50% of students had returned. Some teachers we asked commented on the disparity in returning students, with more male students returning than female. Why might this be?
63% of teachers believe their school has adequate protective equipment, which is positive sign of a safe schooling environment. However, school reopening may be temporary if there is a spike in cases of infection. With this in mind, are schools prepared to to continue student education during another closure?
According to our panel of teachers, schools have not been given enough instruction and guidance to plan for this eventuality.
This is very understandable. Schools are focussed on making sure the current reopening works, rather than planning for its failure. However, the past few months have taught organisations the importance of preparing for worst-case scenarios. With this in mind, GES needs to be planning for this eventuality and providing plans and guidance to schools.
2 . Inclusion in the classroom
Last week’s Global Education Monitoring report by UNESCO looked at how educational systems across the world are working to make their classrooms more inclusive to students with disabilities and diverse backgrounds.
Ghana was mentioned numerous times in the report, usually being cited for its excellent policies and practice around inclusion. We wanted to find out more by asking questions about how teachers understand and value this inclusion.
When given a choice of outcomes for students and asked to state which one they value most, the most popular option among our users is “for students to feel welcomed and included in the classroom”. This ranked about a desire for high academic achievement or good job prospects for students.
Not only do teachers value inclusion, over 90% also believe they have a clear picture of what the term means and how to ensure their classrooms are an inclusive space.
This high number of positive responses reflects a strong working knowledge of inclusive practice among teachers. But there are still challenges towards making education in Ghana fully inclusive. What more work needs to be done? Let us know in an email to email@example.com
3 . Exclusion from the classroom
Last week, Ghana Education News reported that a school in the Eastern region had expelled three SHS students for bringing mobile phones into school despite rules against them.
There’s also good reason to think this may be happening at other schools across the country.
How do teachers feel about it? Just over half of teachers disagree with the practice, believing students should not be expelled for this violation of rules.
However, nearly 1 in 3 teachers agreed that this was an appropriate punishment for students. This tells us that attitudes towards severity of punishment vary between teachers.